Accepted Paper:

French presence in contemporary Algeria: a postcolonial memory & practices   

Author:

Giulia Fabbiano (IDEMEC, Aix-en-Provence / Mucem)

Paper short abstract:

While attention has been paid to the colonial flows from France to Algeria, the postcolonial ones have been largely neglected. I’ll focus on French presence in contemporary Algeria trough narratives & practices of a postcolonial golden cage: the Lycée international Alexandre Dumas, opened in Algiers in 2002.

Paper long abstract:

The French presence in Algeria has a long history, one reshaped by the end of French colonial domination (1962), the era of "coopération" (1962-1979) and Algeria's civil war (1991-1999). At the close of the 20th century, there seemingly was nothing left, in concrete terms, of "the epoch of France" ("waqt França"). Yet, still, this deeply rooted connection continued to obsess Algerians, absorbing both people of all social levels and how they imagine the world. The early 2000s, which saw the end of civil war violence and new economic development shaped by liberalism also witnessed new forms of movement between the countries. In parallel, both governments developed closer diplomatic ties. In 2002, the inauguration of the Lycée International Alexandre Dumas (LIAD) offered clear evidence of this shift. Such as a complex microcosm, its workings offer special insight into the diverse origins and postcolonial ambivalences that define the French presence in Algeria today. The school is supposed to help calm and normalize relationships between France and Algeria, yet the complicated and imbricated dynamics that make it work (statutory, national, and ethnic) summon the colonial past, even as they reveal delayed adjustments, ruptures, and blind spots.

Panel P048
Moving beyond the colonial? North-South mobility, power and post-colonial encounters [ANTHROMOB]